Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Low Country Intermission

Anyone that knows me, knows I dearly love Cajun and Creole Cuisine, but I also love the food and flavor of South Carolina and Georgia's Low Country Cooking. Cities like Savannah Georgia, Charleston, and Hilton Head, South Carolina are just some of the places you can get good Low Country fare. The dishes, in a way, and very similar to Cajun and Creole cooking. Lot's of seafood, rice, pork, okra, and slow-cooked specialties. This area was populated by the Gullah, African people who maintained their language and food culture more than any other African immigrants. These free-people-of-color made their home in the tidal basin there at the border between the two states. Because it is below sea-level, it got its name "The Low Country." This culture is still vibrant and flourishing today.

Some of their more popular dishes include Shrimp and Grits, She Crab Soup, Frogmore Stew (a Southern-style clambake), Hoppin' John (a black eyed peas and rice dish), Perloo (similar to Jambalaya) and my all time favorite, Backbones and Rice. The "backbones" are sometimes called Country Style Ribs. These are braised in a stock and cooked with rice until they absolutely fall apart. The rice is so savory and tasty it is a meal in itself. For more information on the Gullah Cuisine, go to Chef Rick's Site, it's a great blog about Low Country and Cajun food as well.

So, I decided to make Backbones and Rice today and thought I'd include them in this blog. OK, I know they're not Cajun, but the style is so similar, I know you'll love this dish if you make it. I have the recipe for you HERE. Just click on this link and you can download the recipe as a PDF document. If you'd like, all my Low Country Recipes are HERE. Give it a try and let me know. This week I am hopefully getting back to New Orleans and to our favorite foods to eat and talk about. Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Orleans Bicycling

I am very sorry for not having written a blog in the last couple of weeks. I have been very busy working and since the Swine Flu came along, my schedule has been very erratic. Alright, for starters, you cannot get Swine Flu from eating pork. Now, that's all you really need to know. If you're feeling ill, take two pork rinds and call Jimmy Dean.

As for the subject of this post, I saw something really funny in New Orleans on Saturday, well funny to me but not to the bicyclist. My friend Sergey, the Doctor on board, saw this and he snapped a picture of it and e-mailed it to me. Evidently, the cyclist locked his bike up and removed the seat to keep someone from stealing his bicycle. Apparently that mattered not to this Crescent City thief. Everything BUT the frame was stolen from the bike, leaving it for the owner to wonder why he bothered.

Saturday in New Orleans was tremendous. Great weather, great food and a walk around town. Crawfish Po-Boys and smoked Boudin at NOLA Grocery, some Calabrese Salami from Cochon Butcher, and some Southern Candymakers Pecan Pralines for dessert. Lunch was washed down with some Abita Root Beers. Sergey also sent me this great shot of some shucked oysters he had for breakfast. Any day in Nawlins' is a good day.